When you have friendships, there's inevitably a time when you end up defending those friends, in one form or another. Sometimes, it's verbal. Sometimes, it's physical.
The problem with defending someone, is that sometimes, you have to go on blind faith and nothing else. That's all fine and good, until someone points out something that you can't reconcile. Then all you have is a war between your heart and your head - between your blind faith and your logic.
Everyone knows I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Recently I haven't been on as much as I used to, for various reasons. I'll admit, one of the reasons is that I'm skittish and hiding after a ton of drama. I'm not a wimp, but I am human, and I can only take so much.
Conversation I had in private messages late last night/early this morning:
Them: "I see you're still friends with (name) even after all the controversy."
Me: "Controversy? Oh, you mean the lies and fabrications *your* friends made up?"
Them: "I'm not friends with any of them. I don't know that it's lies."
Me: "I told you what I knew. I told you what (name) told me, and I believe it. That's all the proof I need. Why isn't that good enough for you?"
Them: "I don't care about (name).....I only care about you."
Me: "Pfft. As if. If you care about me so awful much, why are you still - *still* - bringing stuff like this up, especially when you know it only hurts me? Hmm?"
Them: "Because you're real, and what you and I have is real. Our friendship is real. You deserve that from everyone."
Me: "I'll worry about what I deserve, thanks. And I don't know that I'd call this a friendship anymore."
--Herein, a long silence issued. So long, in fact, that I'd assumed they were pissed and had dropped the conversation. Then:
Them: "You know what (name) told you about meeting (him/her) is a lie. I heard that (he/she) said that to you to get you to stop asking questions..... to shut you up."
Me: "Bullshit. The conversation it was said in was very casual. Just two people talking - there were no questions. That didn't come until much later. Besides, who is your "source"?"
--At this point, I'm scowling at the screen. The source they named is quite probably trustworthy. Or maybe they just threw that name out there, hoping I'd take the bait. That's the problem with someone like me, who cares so openly and so publicly, and who runs his big, fat mouth about who he cares about to everyone. Everyone becomes a target. Everyone becomes a weapon.
Me: "Right. Like you and (name) talk."
Them: "How do you know we don't?"
Me: "How do I know you *do*? Better question - why do I care? *Even better* question - what do you get out of this? What kind of perverse pleasure does this give you?"
Them: "Nothing. I told you why I bring it up. I'm not getting pleasure out of it. What kind of person would that make me?"
Me: "Hmm. Methinks you doth protest too much."
Them: "Methinks YOU doth trust too much."
Me: "Perhaps. But I believe what (name) told me. I have no reason to believe (he/she) lied in such a casual situation. And (he/she) said other things - offered other details - that would back up what (he/she) said."
Them: "But you still don't know it's the truth. (He/She) could still be lying to you. You've never met them in the flesh."
Me: "So I need to see flesh to see the heart of a person? I've never met *you* either, yet you're asking me to believe *you* over (him/her)."
Them: "You've known me longer."
Me: "So? I knew my father for twenty-some-odd years. Didn't make him any less of a rat bastard."
Them: "I'm a rat bastard?"
Me: "Don't be juvenile and put words in my mouth. That's so passive-aggressive and trite."
Them: "So you believe (name)?"
--And herein... I didn't know. You see, the thing with people like this, is that there's always a shred of common sense in what they say. They needle and wheedle you, they're cruel, but at the end of the day... you can't reconcile everything, and you can't answer all the questions, and you're left with two possibilities:
Either they're wrong, and you're right, which makes them an asshole and you very smart indeed.
They're right and you're wrong, which still makes them an asshole, but it makes you a very, very, very *big* fool.
Them: "You there???????"
Me: "One ? is enough, don't you think? LOL Yes, I'm still here."
Them: "So??????? Why?????"
Me: ::rolling my eyes at the unwarranted excessive punctuation:: "Why what?"
Them: "Why do you believe (name) and not me?"
--At this point, I have no logical answer. Not much of the past year has had any logic attached to it. This is my fundamental problem, I think. I'm a person soundly rooted in logic. I enjoy logic. Why? Because logic doesn't seek to hurt. It's just logic. It's just fact. It's just reason. There's no emotion attached to logic. Also, growing up, logic was my only weapon. My father was a cruel, hateful person. (I won't call him a "man" because he never lived up to that word.) His soul was black, and he infected everyone around him with it. But the one thing you could use against him, the one thing *I* could use against him, was logic. I learned how to manipulate him with facts and reasoning. Sometimes, it worked in my favor. Sometimes, I managed to impress him enough that I escaped whatever hell he wanted to throw at me. Sometimes, it backfired. Sometimes, all I did was anger him and make things 100 times harder on myself.
So, I'm sitting there last night, staring at the screen, and I realize that there's no logic in this situation. None at all. And that's a very scary place for me. Unfettered on a raging ocean isn't my choice of vacation spots.
Them: "Hello?????? Are you going to answer me?????"
Them: "So what's the answer????"
Me: "I believe (name) because I choose to."
Them: "What????? That's stupid!!"
Me: "Stupid or not, that's all I have. Actually... I do have something else. I have this nifty little block button."
Them: "You're going to block me for telling you the truth????"
Me: "No. I'm going to block you because you keep turning that knife, and I'm really not into that."
And then I blocked them.
The questions remain for me, of course.
I suppose, in a small, small, small way, this is what religion must be like. Given no proof, but asked to believe in this thing - in this story or this person or this concept. Some people can throw themselves at that. Embrace it - take it into their heart and make it their own, with blind faith. I've never been good at blind faith. Growing up, everyone I should've been able to trust - everyone I initially put my faith in - betrayed me.
It took me many, many years before I stopped expecting that betrayal out of everyone. Before I was able to put my faith in someone, and have it proven worthy.
And I guess that's the crux of my love/hate relationship with Facebook. I enjoy the interaction. I enjoy seeing people's triumphs, I like being able to be there for them in their hard times. I enjoy watching the younger folks grow, watching new writers blossom.
But on some level, Facebook takes me back to that place I was in as a child, where I put my neck out, and just held my breath, as someone stepped forward to chop it off. Where I trusted people, and then cowered in the dark while they betrayed me.
Living in constant expectation and fear of the shoe dropping is draining.